Advise TX is a college access program affiliated with the national College Advising Corps. This near-peer model for improvement of college access could well be likened to the “Teach for America” of advising in that it recruits highly talented recent graduates from partnering universities, intensively trains them as college advisers, and places them into high schools that have a high proportion of minority students and low college-going rates.
Adviser Qualifications and Selection. In order to comply with the “near-peer” advising model, all adviser candidates must meet these requirements in order to be considered for the full-time position:
- Advisers must have a bachelor’s degree from an Advise TX partner institution at the time service begins in the high school.
- Advisers must be near-peers to the high school students they serve. Therefore, advisers should be traditional aged college students and no more than six (6) years removed from their high school experiences or be graduates from the current academic year, or at most, the year prior.
- Advisers should have a successful academic record.
- Advisers serve for a one year commitment with an option to serve for a second year. Advisers cannot serve more than two years.
- Advisers must demonstrate a commitment to public service as evidenced by previous work in the community and/or among Texas’ targeted populations.
Adviser Duties. Advisers are expected to tailor programs and activities to meet the specific needs of their assigned schools and perform the following primary functions:
1. Provide one-on-one admissions and financial-aid advice to any student or family seeking assistance.
- Encourage each student to consider a broad range of appropriate college choices.
- Develop for each student a comprehensive college timeline, including application deadlines for admission and financial aid.
- Help each student complete and submit admissions and financial-aid applications.
- Assist each student in interpreting correspondence from colleges, including offers of admission and financial aid.
2. Organize group events that encourage students and their families to consider, plan for, and apply to colleges and universities.
- Visit classrooms, assemblies, and club meetings to offer Advise TX services and emphasize the importance of college.
- Visit feeder middle schools to encourage early planning for college.
- Work with local community groups—churches, boys and girls clubs, social-service providers— to offer group events outside school setting and hours.
3. Establish productive working relationships with principals, counselors, and teachers in the assigned high school.
- Assess, in consultation with the Advise TX program coordinator and school personnel, the particular needs of each school, and adapt programs and activities to meet these needs.
- Actively seek the advice and counsel of the on-site supervisor at each partner high school.
4. Assist in the efforts of other Advise TX adviser(s) within the service area
- Visit other high schools in their assigned service area during school days.
- Help organize, provide support for, and attend evening and weekend events organized by other adviser(s).
5. Assist in the assessment and long-term sustainability of the program
- Assist the program coordinator and evaluation staff to identify, collect, and interpret key progress and outcome variables to evaluate the effectiveness of the Advise TX program.
- Submit monthly progress reports to the program coordinator documenting progress and outcome data.
- Meet, as appropriate, with evaluators from the National Office or chapter headquarters.
- Represent Advise TX, as requested by the statewide coordinator, to potential supporters and to other interested parties.
6. Maintain expertise in admissions and financial-aid advising.
- Participate fully in six weeks of residential training each summer and in approximately two weeks of professional development during the academic year.
- In consultation with the program coordinator, seek out and participate in other opportunities for professional development.
Partners in the project statewide include four Texas institutions – The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Texas Christian University, and Trinity University – that have trained and placed advisers in 155 high-need schools across Texas since 2011.